The following series of questions allows the particular Churches to participate actively in the preparation of the Extraordinary Synod, whose purpose is to proclaim the Gospel in the context of the pastoral challenges facing the family today.
1. The Diffusion of the Teachings on the Family in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Magisterium
a) Describe how the Catholic Church’s teachings on the value of the family contained in the Bible, Gaudium et spes, Familiaris consortio and other documents of the post-conciliar Magisterium is understood by people today? What formation is given to our people on the Church’s teaching on family life?
There is absolutely no understanding by the vast majority of the Faithful of the Church's teaching. In many places there is open rebellion to the Church's teachings on the family. Those that do have an understanding of the Church's teachings, have a minimal grasp on the subject. Much formation is given to something that isn't even official Church teaching (NFP)...
b) In those cases where the Church's teaching is known, is it accepted fully or are there difficulties in putting it into practice? If so, what are they?
Those that are accepting of the Church's teaching encounter a culture which resists the Church's openess to life. There are various economic phenomena that make putting the Church's teachings into practice a bit difficult.
c) How widespread is the Church's teaching in pastoral programmes at the national, diocesan and parish levels? What catechesis is done on the family?
d ) To what extent — and what aspects in particular — is this teaching actually known, accepted, rejected and/or criticized in areas outside the Church? What are the cultural factors which hinder the full reception of the Church’s teaching on the family?
There is criticism for a lack of openness to contraception. We have a culture that enjoys murdering innocent babies, there is absolutely no respect for life at the most fundamental level.
2. Marriage according to the Natural Law
a) What place does the idea of the natural law have in the cultural areas of society: in institutions, education, academic circles and among the people at large? What anthropological ideas underlie the discussion on the natural basis of the family?
Natural Law is unheard of or ignored in the academic situations that I am familiar with.
b) Is the idea of the natural law in the union between a man and a woman commonly accepted as such by the baptized in general?
No, but the union between man and woman acceptance is decreasing even further.
c) How is the theory and practice of natural law in the union between man and woman challenged in light of the formation of a family? How is it proposed and developed in civil and Church institutions?
No proposition of such situations.
d) In cases where non-practicing Catholics or declared non-believers request the celebration of marriage, describe how this pastoral challenge is dealt with?
The non-Catholic parties are advised of the Catholic duties, and usually sign an agreement to raise the kids Catholic.
3. The Pastoral Care of the Family in Evangelization
a) What experiences have emerged in recent decades regarding marriage preparation? What efforts are there to stimulate the task of evangelization of the couple and of the family? How can an awareness of the family as the "domestic Church" be promoted?
Marriage preparation consists of much on NFP, and not enough on the Sacramental meaning of Marriage. The Domestic church can be promoted with a return to the fidelity in the Liturgy and connecting private prayer to Liturgical prayer.
b) How successful have you been in proposing a manner of praying within the family which can withstand life’s complexities and today’s culture?
c) In the current generational crisis, how have Christian families been able to fulfill their vocation of transmitting the faith?
They haven't, the family has not received the Faith in full.
d) In what way have the local Churches and movements on family spirituality been able to create ways of acting which are exemplary?
The showing of examples of young couples enjoying their marriage has been a positive influence.
e) What specific contribution can couples and families make to spreading a credible and holistic idea of the couple and the Christian family today?
Couples can show the integration of the Liturgical life of the Church into their daily lives.
f) What pastoral care has the Church provided in supporting couples in formation and couples in crisis situations?
The Church offers counsel to those who have ears. There are many marriage enrichment classes and retreats that are offered in the local parishes and churches.
4. Pastoral Care in Certain Difficult Marital Situations
a) Is cohabitation ad experimentum a pastoral reality in your particular Church? Can you approximate a percentage?
b) Do unions which are not recognized either religiously or civilly exist? Are reliable statistics available?
I don't have statistics, but they do exist.
c) Are separated couples and those divorced and remarried a pastoral reality in your particular Church? Can you approximate a percentage? How do you deal with this situation in appropriate pastoral programmes?
People aren't informed of the dispensation to live apart from the Bishop to strengthen their marriage.
d) In all the above cases, how do the baptized live in this irregular situation? Are they aware of it? Are they simply indifferent? Do they feel marginalized or suffer from the impossibility of receiving the sacraments?
Most are indifferent, and do not feel marginalized.
e) What questions do divorced and remarried people pose to the Church concerning the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Reconciliation? Among those persons who find themselves in these situations, how many ask for these sacraments?
f ) Could a simplification of canonical practice in recognizing a declaration of nullity of the marriage bond provide a positive contribution to solving the problems of the persons involved? If yes, what form would it take?
g) Does a ministry exist to attend to these cases? Describe this pastoral ministry? Do such programmes exist on the national and diocesan levels? How is God’s mercy proclaimed to separated couples and those divorced and remarried and how does the Church put into practice her support for them in their journey of faith?
5. On Unions of Persons of the Same Sex
a) Is there a law in your country recognizing civil unions for people of the same-sex and equating it in some way to marriage?
Yes, these laws exist and it is equated to marriage.
b) What is the attitude of the local and particular Churches towards both the State as the promoter of civil unions between persons of the same sex and the people involved in this type of union?
Some of the local dioceses have been quiet on the issue, others have been very vocal. All have been against the State promotion of this.
c) What pastoral attention can be given to people who have chosen to live in these types of union?
Repent, and believe in the Gospel.
d) In the case of unions of persons of the same sex who have adopted children, what can be done pastorally in light of transmitting the faith?
The Truths of the Faith need to be told without fear of political correctness.
6. The Education of Children in Irregular Marriages
a) What is the estimated proportion of children and adolescents in these cases, as regards children who are born and raised in regularly constituted families?
I'd say around 70-80%
b) How do parents in these situations approach the Church? What do they ask? Do they request the sacraments only or do they also want catechesis and the general teaching of religion?
Many seek the Sacraments of Initiation, but not the teaching of religion.
c) How do the particular Churches attempt to meet the needs of the parents of these children to provide them with a Christian education?
Many have a program in which catechesis comes along with the Sacraments.
d) What is the sacramental practice in these cases: preparation, administration of the sacrament and the accompaniment?
The Sacraments are given after a catechesis period.
7. The Openness of the Married Couple to Life
a) What knowledge do Christians have today of the teachings of Humanae vitae on responsible parenthood? Are they aware of how morally to evaluate the different methods of family planning? Could any insights be suggested in this regard pastorally?
Many people do not know of any other methods than NFP. But this NFP is an extra-ordinary situation. The majority of people do not know about the Church's teaching on life in marriage. My suggestion is to emphasize that God's grace can get them through financial difficulties.
b) Is this moral teaching accepted? What aspects pose the most difficulties in a large majority of couple’s accepting this teaching?
Contraception is not used as much in marriage than without.
c) What natural methods are promoted by the particular Churches to help spouses put into practice the teachings of Humanae vitae?
d) What is your experience on this subject in the practice of the Sacrament of Penance and participation at the Eucharist?
There has been less people participating in the Sacrament of Penance and more at the Holy Eucharist without the understanding of mortal sin.
e) What differences are seen in this regard between the Church’s teaching and civic education?
Civic education is completely opposed to the Church's vision of the Family.
f) How can a more open attitude towards having children be fostered? How can an increase in births be promoted?
Year of Conception?
8. The Relationship Between the Family and the Person
a) Jesus Christ reveals the mystery and vocation of the human person. How can the family be a privileged place for this to happen?
More families should try to imitate the Holy Trinity
b) What critical situations in the family today can obstruct a person’s encounter with Christ?
Bad Liturgy...Marty Haugen, David Haas hits
c) To what extent do the many crises of faith which people can experience affect family life?
The Crisis of Faith has major effect on Family life.
9. Other Challenges and Proposals
What other challenges or proposals related to the topics in the above questions do you consider urgent and useful to treat?